The two final games of the quarter-final round saw two favourites meet up as Germany battled Argentina. In the other match, defending European champions Spain took on Paraguay. The two powerhouse teams that survived today’s action would be on a collision course in what should be an epic semi-final.
Germany 4 vs. Argentina 0 – Sure they were impressive in the group stages but England rolled over and played dead. Surely, Germany couldn’t lay two straight drubbings on formidable opponents. Well, the team once left for dead without captain Michael Ballack has to look like the favourite with four teams left in the tournament. The Germans got on the board three minutes in with a Thomas Mueller header off a free kick. The score would remain 1-0 after the first half, but the Germans would rack up three more in the second half off counter-attack opportunities as Argentina desperately scrambled to tie. Miroslav Klose had two goals and Arne Friedrich had the other.
Spain 1 vs. Paraguay 0 – This should have been as big a blow out as the day’s early game. However, when one team goes into a defensive shell, it becomes a lot closer than the favourites bargain for. The game was controversial, as well. In the 41st minute, Paraguay’s Oscar Cardozo headed home what he thought was a goal but another player was offside so the goal was waved off. In the 57th minute, Cardozo was fouled in the box but his penalty kick was stopped by Iker Casillas. Just seconds later, David Villa was fouled in the Paraguayan box. He converted on his penalty kick but it was waved off because of encroachment and his second attempt was stopped. Villa did make amends in the 83rd minute when he booted a rebound off both posts and into the net. So we have a semi-final that is worth the price of admission. The best team in the tournament, Germany, will battle the highest remaining seed in the FIFA World Rankings, Spain.
Man of the Day: Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 2 goals
Uruguay vs. Netherlands